New premier faces questions about her personal life on her first day in the job

As you’ve no doubt heard today, Gladys Berejiklian has been sworn in as the new premier of New South Wales. But
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New NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to the media on her first day on the job. Source: YouTube

As you’ve no doubt heard today, Gladys Berejiklian has been sworn in as the new premier of New South Wales.

But in her first press conference, after talking policy and the issue facing NSW residents, she was asked about her personal life.

Just like former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Berejiklian is unmarried and has no children – and that’s not exactly an uncommon thing these days.

Unfortunately it seems there is still a lot of stigma around that, and she’s faced questions about it from the media.

One reporter asked her if she was prepared to face questions about her marital and childless status.

Another male reporter asked if she thought being childless and unmarried was a “disadvantage politically”.

So, how did she respond?

While many of us would probably have responded angrily, but Berejiklian handled it well.

“I say take me as you see me,” she said.

“I’m someone whose always been myself. Not all of us can plan how our life turns out. I’m a very happy person. If you’d asked me 20 years ago would my life look like this, it probably would not be how it looks like but I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. I have never let an opportunity go by and I also want to say again – not because I have to but because I want to – the closest people in my life are my family and I’m not going to judge anybody on their person circumstances. I’m here to govern for everybody and I hope people judge me on my merits and what I can do.”

So, why is there still so much stigma for women who aren’t married or don’t have children? Do you think it really matters?

 

  1. Pam Nicholls  

    What a joke! In this day and age for goodness sake we still have reporters, both male and female, who are caught in a time warp about the marital status of successful women. In addition that a woman may also be judged according to their ability/desire to breed! Shame on their ignorance, obviously reporting the news with impartiality and intelligence means that they need to consider a career change. But good on you Gladys Berejiklian for been so gracious and tolerant in your first day on the job! Best wishes to you.

  2. David Allen  

    It doesn’t matter a jot that the Premier is unmarried. If Gladys were married with children, the press would be jumping on her, asking about priorities and divided loyalty.

  3. Ria Young  

    Why are men not asked these personal questions? All men are unable to have children, I’ve yet to see a pregnant male, and their ability to be in parliament is never questioned because of their childlessness. If a woman is childless, get over it. She should be judged on the job she can do for the people of NSW, not on marital status or having children.

    • Margie Grah  

      well said, Ria

      • Carmel Woods  

        Agree Ria. Some men have no idea. The marital status of a politician should not matter. I personally don’t care if they are married have children or not. All we ask is that they do the job they are paid for. nothing else matters.

  4. As long as she does the job that she was chosen for, what does it matter whether she is married or not and has children or not. She is the one making decisions, not her family. She chose to be who she is, which is a very competent woman, who knows what she wants in life and has gone for it. Why then should this be a problem with journalists. The main thing is that she does the right thing by the people she represents. Not by if she is married or has children. Wake up journalists, woman do not have to have children to prove who they are, nor do they need to be married either.

  5. Forgoodness sake leave Gladys to do her job. Due to not having a Husband and Children to tend to she can fully focus on the NSW peoples issues of concern.

    • Agree with you and I know women who are not married and childless and are strong willed and determined in their views and I would not have them any other way

  6. HJS  

    I knew a woman whose fiancé died tragically before they were married. She never found another soul mate.
    I knew a married woman, who was unable to have children. It pained her, and every month, there was a reminder of her situation. It pained her to be questioned and, worse, judged. Gladys personal status has no bearing on her ability to do the job in 2017 and beyond. Gracious reply.

  7. Robin Henry  

    Reporters need to focus on government matters and not personal matters. Being unmarried and childless should mean she has more uninterrupted time to help her team run NSW.

    Who says everyone wants to be married with children?

    Her answer was gracious, but I would have told them to mind their own business.

  8. Judith Breen  

    As the saying goes – Behind every successful man there is a good woman! Goes to show that a successful woman is multitasking as a good woman too! Congratulations Ms Berejiklian.

  9. Judith Breen  

    As the saying goes – Behind every successful man there is a good woman! Goes to show that this successful woman is multitasking as a good woman too! Congratulations Ms Berejiklian.

  10. Harry van Dijk  

    Apart from uncouth question, did you notice premier Grace got a big kiss when sworn in!!
    I don’t remember Mr. Turnbull getting a kiss!!

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